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  1. #1
    hillview's Avatar
    hillview is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    Default Where do you start?

    DS2 is a handful -- he is 4.5. This is not new. I am losing my ability to handle him. He hits, pinches, kicks, tips tables, throws things at me or others. He says stupid mommy, idiot mommy, and on and on. No amount of time outs, sent to his room, removal of toys, no TV manages this. He seeks negative attention. Starts fights with DS1, with the dog and with me.

    This morning it was him not wanting a coat or sweatshirt (I was not making him wear it just taking it to school) and he pitched a total fit. Ok fine. After 10 mins of trying to get him to buckle himself into his car sear (or me doing it) we went to school. He refused to hold my hand crossing the street so I took his wrist and he flipped out and tried run into the street. I picked him up and took him across the street. He kept flipping out (hitting scratching trying to get away and RUN BACK INTO THE STREET) so I carried him into school. As soon as we got into school he was fine.

    This is my life every single day. He has epic meltdowns and often. It is impacting my life in a negative way. I am not as good a parent as I want to be and it is impacting my relationship with DH and DS1 as well.

    So what do I do? I have a teacher meeting next week and I told the teacher this morning I wanted to discuss DS2's behavior with her. I feel like I need an evaluation or some parenting class for kids like this or SOMETHING.

    Please advise. I am posting here because to me this seems OFF. It just isn't in the normal range for me. DS1 has his moments however nothing as sustained as this and nothing that I couldn't eventually come up with a plan and figure out.
    DS #1 Summer 05
    DS #2 Summer 07

  2. #2
    elliput's Avatar
    elliput is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    I'm sorry. Your DS sounds like a very intelligent, strong willed boy who is looking to express his independence.

    Have you read any of the Positive Discipline books? The authors talk about what they call "Misguided Behaviors" and how to deal with them. http://www.positivediscipline.com/
    Erica
    DD 1/05
    DS 9/08

    Since one just does not simply walk into Mordor, I say we form a conga line and dance our way in.
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  3. #3
    hillview's Avatar
    hillview is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    ETA Erica I re-read what I wrote and I don't mean to be defensive! Thanks for your feedback and book suggestion.
    Quote Originally Posted by elliput View Post
    I'm sorry. Your DS sounds like a very intelligent, strong willed boy who is looking to express his independence.

    Have you read any of the Positive Discipline books? The authors talk about what they call "Misguided Behaviors" and how to deal with them. http://www.positivediscipline.com/
    Thanks I have ordered it. I have "easy to love difficult to discipline" and about 5 others that I have read over the years. I do give choices (this morning: do you want your coat or your sweater for school; do you want to walk across the street holding hands or do you want me to carry you; do you want to buckle yourself in or have mommy do it; at breakfast do you want toast or oatmeal). I do not force kids to eat -- if you are done; you are done. I considered letting him go without a coat but it was 37 degrees and I was not sure if the teacher would let him go to recess without a coat (I guess I could have let that played out maybe I should have?). Crossing the street is not negotiable for me but he did have a choice of holding hands or being carried. DS1 DID get to cross himself at the cross walk after looking both ways and asking me if it was ok. I get that this feels unfair to DS2. Frankly if DS2 had been in his seat properly and we'd have been at school on time or if DS2 was not throwing a fit, DS1 would have walked with us.
    Last edited by hillview; 02-02-2012 at 11:19 AM.
    DS #1 Summer 05
    DS #2 Summer 07

  4. #4
    Clarity is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    I've struggled parenting our dd1 too. She's very bright and very stubborn and we've had some epic meltdowns. At our worse (about 3.5yo - 4.5yo) I asked the director of her preschool for a psych referral. We have a 100% child centered counseling center in our community and that is where I was referred. When I contacted the counseling center, they actually did not set me up with a counselor at first, they routed me through their parenting course that they offer free of charge to the community. They actually provided free childcare during the classes to make it easier for us to attend. It's a great program and what's more, it helps connect you directly to the resources if you need more help that that parenting class can provide.
    Have you checked for a child-centered counseling center w/n driving distance from you? They may have a similar program.

    It's so hard, I know it is. Even now when dd1 is not quite as challenging as she was a year ago, parenting her is still 5x as hard as it is to parent our dd2 who is spunky but much more easy going. I often feel like a failure as a parent because I lose my temper in response to dd1's behavior way more often than I'd like. I was lamenting this just yesterday. Good luck, mama.
    big girl 6/06
    little girl 9/08

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  5. #5
    hellokitty is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    How is he at school though? I ask, b/c DS2 and DS3 are very similar. They give ME a hard time, but around other ppl, they are angels. If he isn't giving the teacher a hard time at school, I'm not sure that they will understand where you are coming from, kwim?

    I do have lots of sympathy for you though. It's hard to have an extremely strong willed child. I just keep telling myself that it's a sign that they are really smart, lol. I hope you can figure out what he needs. I do feel that DS2, who is now 6 has improved a LOT in this dept, so I'm hoping for you that things will get better in the next two yrs as he gets older. DS3 right now is my difficult one, but then he's 2.5 yrs old, but reminds me a lot of DS2, so I know that the next 3 yrs are going to suck.
    Mom to 3 LEGO Maniacs

  6. #6
    hillview's Avatar
    hillview is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarity View Post
    I've struggled parenting our dd1 too. She's very bright and very stubborn and we've had some epic meltdowns. At our worse (about 3.5yo - 4.5yo) I asked the director of her preschool for a psych referral. We have a 100% child centered counseling center in our community and that is where I was referred. When I contacted the counseling center, they actually did not set me up with a counselor at first, they routed me through their parenting course that they offer free of charge to the community. They actually provided free childcare during the classes to make it easier for us to attend. It's a great program and what's more, it helps connect you directly to the resources if you need more help that that parenting class can provide.
    Have you checked for a child-centered counseling center w/n driving distance from you? They may have a similar program.

    It's so hard, I know it is. Even now when dd1 is not quite as challenging as she was a year ago, parenting her is still 5x as hard as it is to parent our dd2 who is spunky but much more easy going. I often feel like a failure as a parent because I lose my temper in response to dd1's behavior way more often than I'd like. I was lamenting this just yesterday. Good luck, mama.
    Thanks! I just called my pedi thearpist to see if she can work me in. It does help to hear from others so thanks again.

    Quote Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post
    How is he at school though? I ask, b/c DS2 and DS3 are very similar. They give ME a hard time, but around other ppl, they are angels. If he isn't giving the teacher a hard time at school, I'm not sure that they will understand where you are coming from, kwim?

    I do have lots of sympathy for you though. It's hard to have an extremely strong willed child. I just keep telling myself that it's a sign that they are really smart, lol. I hope you can figure out what he needs. I do feel that DS2, who is now 6 has improved a LOT in this dept, so I'm hoping for you that things will get better in the next two yrs as he gets older. DS3 right now is my difficult one, but then he's 2.5 yrs old, but reminds me a lot of DS2, so I know that the next 3 yrs are going to suck.
    Yeah I am going to ask the teachers about this next week. I HAVE to assume he is NOT like that at school or they'd be calling me every day! DH says DS2 reminds him of himself at a young age.

    I hate that our relationship seems to have deteriorated to this. I honestly some days just look at the clock and say only 2 more hours of this. I don't want to parent that way KWIM?
    DS #1 Summer 05
    DS #2 Summer 07

  7. #7
    hellokitty is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillview View Post
    Thanks! I just called my pedi thearpist to see if she can work me in. It does help to hear from others so thanks again.


    Yeah I am going to ask the teachers about this next week. I HAVE to assume he is NOT like that at school or they'd be calling me every day! DH says DS2 reminds him of himself at a young age.

    I hate that our relationship seems to have deteriorated to this. I honestly some days just look at the clock and say only 2 more hours of this. I don't want to parent that way KWIM?
    Lol, don't you just love your DH's genes for this? Yeah, DS2 and DS3 take after my DH's side of the family, they are mini-me's of my 10 yr old niece. We saw her act just like this when she was younger and thought, oh our kids won't be that rotten. Well, now we have two rotten ones just like her (ds1 is very well behaved, which is more typical of my genes, my brothers and I were all pretty mild manner kids), even though we parent differently from bil/sil, the nature part seems to be winning. Whenever I meet with DS2's teachers (he's 6 and in kindergarten, but had two yrs of preschool), I am always shocked at what nice things they have to say about him (and DH has seen DS2 kissing brown nosing his teachers and told me I have to tell the teacher that he is not like that at home, lol) and in return, they are always shocked that *I* am shocked and find it strange when I describe to them the way he acts at home to our own family. Like they can't imagine him being badly behaved. The same goes with DS3. I have friends who comment that he is so sweet, but OMG he is soooo difficult when it's just our immediate family members around. Idk what it is about kids who know how to let their stinky side out when they are at home, but put on a totally different personality while out in public... kind of scary that they can manipulate things so much, kwim? Which is why I mention that they must be super smart to be able to control that. It just sucks that we are on the receiving end of the bad behavior, while others get the good behavior. I hope you have some luck with the therapist. For me, I know that there is a genetic component to it, so I haven't bothered to seek therapy (although having some wine at dinner time helps a LOT!), but I totally get you on counting down the hours until bedtime, esp now that DS3 has decided he's no longer going to nap, I feel as tired as I did when he was a newborn.
    Mom to 3 LEGO Maniacs

  8. #8
    o_mom is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    It seems to me like it has been going on long enough to not be 'just a phase'. I would ask your ped for a referral to a therapist. It doesn't mean you have to get a diagnosis or medication, they can help without that. I think looking for somewhere that has a mix of MDs, PhDs and LCSW/LMHCs would be a good start so that if you do need more than just counselling you don't have to start over somewhere else.
    Mama to three boys ('03, '05, '07)

  9. #9
    hillview's Avatar
    hillview is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by o_mom View Post
    It seems to me like it has been going on long enough to not be 'just a phase'. I would ask your ped for a referral to a therapist. It doesn't mean you have to get a diagnosis or medication, they can help without that. I think looking for somewhere that has a mix of MDs, PhDs and LCSW/LMHCs would be a good start so that if you do need more than just counselling you don't have to start over somewhere else.
    Thanks -- your PM got me thinking. I called my child psych person who I have known for years and years to start with her. She can refer me to the right places I think. Thanks
    DS #1 Summer 05
    DS #2 Summer 07

  10. #10
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    You probably don't want another book rec, but - have you looked at "The Explosive Child"? The frequency and duration of "explosions" that you describe for your DS might fit for that approach.

    My DS1 is also frequently aggressive/violent, though the reasons why have changed over the years. I am beginning to understand, though, that he is just an extreme kid, he has a limited range of responses, and so extreme anger is where he goes for many different reasons (upset, frustration, and regular anger...).

    Agree with talking to the teacher about how he is at school, in the classroom and at less structured times too. Try a few visits/meetings with the counselor, and then maybe think about a visit with a developmental pediatrician? Or whatever other professional is easiest to access with your health insurance? We waited 18 months to get in for an extensive developmental eval through a different health system, but our pedi office gave us a referral to the devel ped in their practice and we only waited 3 months.

    HTH

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